Morning Report: August 28, 2005

Gunman shoots, wounds judge in Iran. A gunman shot and wounded Iranian judge Mohammad Reza Aghazadeh, according to a Reuters article posted at Regime Change Iran: ' A gunman has shot an Iranian judge in the eye and hand outside his Tehran home, seriously wounding him, the justice minister said on Sunday. The official IRNA news agency said Mohammad Reza Aghazadeh had been handling cases involving large land transactions near Karaj, an industrial satellite city to the west of Tehran. "He is now in surgery," Justice Minister Jamal Karimirad told reporters. "I hope God helps us keep him alive". Aghazadeh is the second judge to be shot this month. Hassan Moghaddas, a judge who sentenced several reformist dissidents to jail, was shot dead in his car on August 2.' (Reuters via RCI)

Drone crashes in Iran. Also via Regime Change Iran, a drone aircraft has crashed in Iran: 'An unmanned single-engined plane has crashed in a mountainous area of western Iran and the wreckage has been recovered by the Iranian armed forces. It was not clear if the plane was Iranian or foreign, although the influential Kayhan newspaper pointed out that "usually these sort of planes are used for spying on other countries". The reports quoted Ali Asgar Ahmadi, deputy head of security in the interior ministry, as saying the plane went down on Thursday in the Alashtar mountains near the city of Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan province, 350 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of Tehran. The hardline Kayhan newspaper said that as soon as the plane crashed, police sealed off the area -- just 150 kilometres from the border with Iraq -- and "a group of experts from Kermanshahr airbase went to examine the fuselage". (AFP via RCI)

Iraq constitution update. CNN reports that the Iraqi Constitutional Committee has signed Iraq's draft constitution: 'The Iraqi constitutional committee signed off on a draft of a constitution Sunday after making some minor amendments, a committee spokesman said. The draft was signed by the committee and submitted to the Transitional National Assembly on Sunday. It was not put to a vote in the assembly in which the Shiite-Kurdish bloc has an overwhelming majority.' Iraq the model has a running commentary on Iraq's constitution: 'Montasir Al-Imara (Assembly member) confirmed that voting on the draft will take place in the coming few hours but also said "There are 153 clauses in the draft and naturally these clauses won't satisfy all Sunnis as Sunnis or all Kurds as Kurds but it's a project for a nation that looks at everyone's interests. The draft concentrated on equality among all Iraqis and there will be no 2nd degree citizens". ... Hussein Falluji (Sunni CDC member) told Al-Arabiya TV that the committee of the "marginalized" (in reference to the Sunni politicians) is holding a separate meeting right now for the purpose of preparing an announcemnet to clarify the "challenges and pressures" they were subjected to:

We did not have sectarian or partisan demands; all we care about is the unity of Iraq...we're arranging for a large campaign now to tell the people the truth about what happened. After all, it's all up to the people to decide since the people are the source of authority and sovereignty. All we asked for was to be given more time because we were expected to deal with all of Iraq's chronic problems in a matter of only two months!

We've got nothing to do now but to look forward to the next step; that is the referendum.

Humam Hammodi made a short introductory speech where he pointed out that this constittution is "not a holy text" and that amendmendts can follow in the future.

A representatives of each political, ethnic, religious faction will be reading a part of the draft in front of the National Assembly. ...' (ITM)